Are you all set for your Earth Day celebration… or are you like me (on most years) and forget about it until the last minute. It’s sad but true Earth Day sneaks up on me every year.
If this has happened to you too, don’t feel bad because you’re NOT ALONE!!! I don’t know about you, but Earth Day is right about the same time as our statewide testing. As you can imagine, the last thing on my mind is Earth Day.
The truth of the matter is that we get caught up with test prep + making sure our kids have encouraging notes, that before we know it… SURPRISE IT’S EARTH DAY
This year’s going to be different though… I’ve got your back! In today’s post, I’m sharing some videos, fun activities, and even a simple cooking recipe that are sure to be a hit with your kiddos. Let’s not waste any more time!
Virtual Field Trip
Have you ever wondered where a bottle goes when you throw it in a recycling bin? This video has all the answers… Your kids will love going on this virtual field trip to a recycling center. They’ll learn exactly how something old gets turned into something new. It’s pretty cool!
Next, up is an interactive story where students explore the benefits of sorting trash. Click on the images throughout the story to learn some interesting facts on recycling and composting.
Here’s another interactive story. This one shows how the choices we make with our trash have different consequences for our environment. For example, a discarded soup can might end up in a landfill if you do not recycle it.
Recycling Relay Game
In this game, students sort trash to score points for their team.
To Play You’re Going To Need:
- 4 boxes (2 labeled RECYCLE & 2 labeled LANDFILL)
- A garbage bag with clean trash. (A week prior to playing the game, ask students to bring in some trash. Ask them to wash the containers out, nothing stinky or glass!)
- Divide the class into two teams
- Place the four boxes at the end of the playing area. Each team should have a box labeled recycle and another labeled landfill.
- When the game begins, the first person from each team picks up a piece of trash, races across the playing area, and places the trash in the correctly labeled box. Then race back to the team, and the next person grabs a piece of trash and sorts it. Each team continues sorting trash until there is no more trash to be sorted.
- Award 1 point for every correctly sorted piece of trash. The team with the most points wins Feel free to deduct a point for each item placed in the wrong box.
*To make the game a bit more challenging, swap out the recycle box for one labeled paper and another labeled plastic.
Earth Day is the perfect time to teach your kids all about the devastating effects of pollution. I like conducting this kid-friendly science lab with my kiddos because it really gets them thinking about the lasting effects associated with an oil spill. It also shows them exactly how difficult it is to clean a spill in the ocean.
But before I start the pollution lab, I usually read Oil Spill! by Melvin Berger. It’s a nice way to introduce the kids to the Exxon Valdez disaster and the effects of oil spills and water pollution in a way that’s not too over their heads.
If you’d like a FREE LAB SHEET to go with the pollution experiment, you can download that by entering your email down below and I’ll send it right to your inbox!
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Kid-Friendly Earth Day Unit
Aside from all the fun videos, games, and labs I also want to make sure my students are truly understanding the recycling process. That’s why I use this informational booklet and the quick checks that go along with it. They’re actually part of my Earth Day Unit.
This booklet explains things in a way that my kids are able to understand and follow along with. The kids also like reading about how Earth Day began, and are usually shocked to find out what actually happens to their recycled goods once a garbage truck picks it up from in front of their house
Every topic they read about in their booklet has a corresponding quick check to check for understanding.
Lastly, we ended our unit with a FUN CRAFTIVITY! It involves shaving cream and food coloring… should I say more LOL…
Earth Day Eats
Have you ever tried chocolate bark before? If not, you gotta try this simple Earth Day Bark recipe. It’s perfect for Earth Day! But beware… this stuff is DANGEROUS! It’s so addicting that you’re gonna wanna make a double batch. Trust me… I speak from experience. Make one batch to take to school and another one to stash away at home. It’s THAT GOOD!!! And if you’re not much of a baker, no need to worry because there’s NO REAL BAKING involved #you’rewelcome
More Earth Day Activities
- 10 Fun Activities to Celebrate Earth Day
- Earth Day Treats
- Change The Way Your Kids Think About Pollution